Have you ever tried counting all the temples in the capital, let alone from all three cities of the valley? Well I did once or at least try to count them in Patan/Lalitpur, City of Beauty. It was just an ordinary Saturday, nothing to do and I found nothing interesting enough to pass the time. I called my friends early in the morning to see if they are free and want to hang out but everyone was busy with this or that and life in general. Disappointed, I decided to just go out by myself and roam around the city.
I had only gotten out of the house for five minutes that I saw crowds of people of all ages going to temples or coming back from visiting one with their forehead decorated with ‘Tika’ which is a mixture of vermilion, rice and/or curd. Then, I thought to myself, why not visit some of the temples near my home to see if there are any changes since my last visit. I usually don’t like crowded places since it was Saturday and it’s the day when temples are most crowded, I hesitated a bit. But I was bored to death knowing that I had nothing better to do on that day, other than sit in front of TV all day long. I finally decided to just go with it.
On my way, I started noticing all the small temples, on the walls, in the middle (I know it sounds absurd but there you have it, right in the middle of the road, without a structure that is supposed to house a deity) or just by the side of the road that I have passed by without a glance for the umpteenth time. Just for fun or there lack of, I decided to count all the temples and deities no matter how major and/or less significant, if people worshiped the statue of the deity, I will count them. And count them all I did! I found it incredible that people here have such faith in their god and religion.
From Pulchowk till I reached ‘Bangalamukhi Temple’ in Mangal Bazaar, Lalitpur, I had counted thirty plus temples of all sizes and importance. Then I got tired of counting and hungrier by the minute. Plus, it didn’t help that I had lost track of my count. This little pastime of mine however, taught me that I was better off counting stars!